As Feminism and Femininity continue to rise and reverb against the unspoken glass ceiling in society, there is an old, yet new wave rising amongst the ranks of women. It begins with finding a sense of balance and grounding amidst all the noise, chaos and distracting messages we are often bombarded with on a daily basis.
How can we combat this? How can one learn how to silence the noise, but not their inner voice? How can a woman feel the strength of her inner spirit warrior, without over exerting herself within other available physical activities (ie. boxing, kick boxing, cross fit). How can we, as women, learn to continue embracing our femininity, while pivoting that into our outer core strength?
Enter Om Factory. Meeting Janie Prince will just be one of those New York mysteries.
It just happened.
No deep explanation.
Somehow we just found ourselves in the same room.
I walked into her class one Saturday morning and the “shift was life altering.”
She teaches Aerial Yoga Level 1 at OM Factory, encouraging [people] to take up space, talk and ask questions.
“ I think it’s important to create a safe place for people to come and explore movement with their bodies. I always start the class seated with breath awareness and grounding. Then we translate yoga postures into the fabric.” Janie explains as her eyes search beyond the fabric in the class.
She credits bringing the aspect of play and laughter into the class. Yoga is often thought as a serious discipline. Slow movements, grounded poses, thoughtful Savasanas. Instead, Janie flips the fabric over, encouraging adults to let their inner child roam free and discover new territory within themselves.
But something greater happened when I showed up to class, this time with my mother.
Personal Testimony: Seeing my mother cry as she softly unwrapped herself from the cocoon of silk wraps, confirmed what I felt after Janie’s class: There is a transcendence that happens here. I didn’t feel weak, because I cried. I left feeling stronger. I didn’t feel afraid of my vulnerability, I felt alive through it.
Janie and I hugged my mother as she felt the connection between her inner warrior and beautiful femininity.
“Through the practice of aerial yoga, I have found confidence, strength, femininity, and grace. There’s even an emotional and spiritual strength that occurs. I learned that the mirror is an alignment tool, not a bully,” Janie reflects.
“My hope is that the women I teach learn that we can be strong and feminine and understand that it takes so much strength to find grace. I always end my class with a favorite quote, ‘ You are the only person that you need to be good enough for.’ ”
Cocoon x Wings: What I am discovering through these experiences is that being a woman is about that core strength, both inner and outer. And aerial yoga showcases this. The strength that our bodies have to pull ourselves up, but the strength in our mind to commit to the act. But then it’s the strength in our minds to let go of the self-proclaimed limitations we put on ourselves, and allow our bodies to just flow through the experience. There’s a dual strength that plays here, an intersection of connecting to your femininity, while connecting to the OM in the practice – which produces a collective space of connecting to the OM within yourself.
“OM is not just something we say before or after a yoga class. It’s considered a sacred sound. It represents our souls, our center, the universe, supreme spirit or God. OM is a connection of every living thing, an energy that cannot be extinguished. When you get to know yourself on a [higher] level, you are then able to love yourself on a deeper level.” Janie smiles as she thinks back to her own experiences during the classes.
So, women shall we rise? Can we stay committed to deeply exploring the intersection between our femininity and OM? Will we challenge ourselves to remain reflective and productive as we push beyond our natural comfort zones and societal limitations?
Can we do this together? Can we rise up?
The Miss. Jones Xperience, in partnership with OM Factory presents ….
Special thanks to each OM Factory Woman who dedicated their time and attention towards this project.
Dedicated to: Kelly, Rebekah, Darlene, Yolanda, Alba and Mothers (both generationally and spiritually)
For more information on OM Factory & Class Schedule: CLICK HERE